The United Kingdom (UK) urged Bangladesh to ensure a level-playing field for foreign companies eager to invest and operate businesses in Bangladesh.
At the second BD-UK Trade and Investment Dialogue held in Dhaka, the UK invited Bangladesh to engage with their private sector for pursuing a commercial dispute resolution system to unlock the full potential of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Bangladesh.
It also encouraged Bangladesh to explore investment opportunities for the UK services sector including financial and professional services, according to a joint communiqué issued here after the meeting.
The meeting was represented by Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh and UK Trade Commissioner for South Asia Alan Gemmell OBE while British High Commissioner in Dhaka Robert Chatterton Dickson was present, among others.
“A conducive business climate and removal of market access barriers will benefit both countries and underline the great opportunities for UK businesses,” said Mr Alan, emphasising that FDI builds the foundation to provide jobs, transfer skills, generate revenue, create competition and drive standards higher.
Both Bangladesh and the UK agreed to convene the dialogue annually and the Joint Working Group (JWG) meetings regularly.
The JWG would cover a broad range of trade and investment issues, including mutual barriers to market access and trade, with an agenda agreed between the UK and Bangladesh in advance.
Both countries underscored the importance of the dialogue and JWG as a step towards achieving an enhanced and stronger relationship, including bilateral trade partnership, to increase mutual prosperity ahead of and after Bangladesh’s graduation from the Least Developed Country (LDC) status.
The UK recognised Bangladesh’s economic growth and resilience, despite the widespread impact of the global pandemic and ongoing economic crisis.
Bangladesh welcomed the UK’s generous Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS) and acknowledged its role in integrating Bangladesh into the global economy, creating stronger trade and investment opportunities.
LDC graduation, investment cooperation, pharmaceuticals, ease of doing business, financial sector development, higher education provision, taxation issues and intellectual property protection issues also came up for discussion.
Bangladesh reiterated the importance of the readymade garment sector to both Bangladesh and the UK.
The UK outlined the private sector-led aerospace offer to Bangladesh. Both countries recognized the importance of high-quality education and agreed to further deepen and widen the scope of collaboration in the area of higher education for mutual benefit.
The UK stressed the importance of Bangladesh putting in place economic policies and systems to achieve its ambition of rapid, sustainable and green economic development; and pledged its ongoing cooperation.
Concluding the dialogue, Mr Ghosh said: “Bangladesh is very keen to take this relationship to a new height through enhanced trade and economic cooperation.”